Black Church Exodus: Organizational Psychology 101

The Black Church is vulnerable. Weekly, I have to spend a portion of my sessions counseling disgruntled “black-church” members. I am always open and clinically honest. I share that usually the problems are just ubiquitous wherever you go. It seems like the Lutheran Church is where many African-Americans are now finding solace.  The Episcopal and Presbyterian churches are also good options, too. People are just tired of the “black-church” inward fighting and rhetoric. Please note, all churches are not vulnerable but several may just need a quick overhaul.

Possible Etiologies:

  1.  Taxation without Representation– All churches need structure and balance of power. Dictatorial systems in America usually lead to quick turn-over. People need to feel a part of the decision making process especially where they invest their hard earned money. This is just a fact.
  2. Nepotism-Your wife is the choir President. Your son is over the Car Washing team. Your sister is over the Ushers. This just will not work in today’s church.  Too many leaders are confusing loyalty with competency. Just because Johnny comes to church every time the door opens, that doesn’t make him and automatic good candidate to “Chair the Finance team.” Build “all of your members”  and their respective skill sets is my advice to many leaders.
  3. Money, Money,Money– The fundraising circles of lost hope. The Choir Day is January. The Usher Day is February. The Pastor’s Day in March. The Pastor’s Wife Day is April. It usually goes on and on and on.  Each day usually has a monetary assessment. Not to mention that many older members have already fixed incomes. Most say we have a system of “free-will” giving.  I disagree.  It seems more like you pay to worship.
  4. RelevanceIs the church you attend relevant? Is there a youth church or programming? What about AA or homeless feeding program? Is there an outreach team?  Only you can answer these questions for yourself. Feel free to search out your options. Most parishioners in ATLANTA have already been a member of at least 3-5 churches in their lifetime- anyway. (TRUTH) I call it “musical chair” members.
  5. Political Rant-Nowadays, the pulpit has many uses other than the “Word of God.” Some friends of the ministry get a few minutes. Not to mention, when church leaders derail off into their own personal likes and dislikes. This is a problem that I hear too often. Mom would say, “eat the fish and spit out the bones.” This holds true today.


Thanks for stopping by,


Dr. O


Check out this link: ( Association of Black Episcopalians)

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